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  1.    #1  
    OK, this isn't Treo-specific, but I have a 650 that's been unlocked by Cingular. My wife and I are going to Italy and France for a few weeks in May, and I'm trying to figure out the best way to call back to the U.S.

    I know Cingular has $1.29/min rates from those countries, or $.99/min rates with their World Traveler plan ($5.99 a month, but not sure how long you need to subscribe). The rates are OK, but not great. The benefits is that I have my same phone number.

    The other option is getting prepaid SIM cards. I've done some research and found that I can buy individual SIM cards for each of the two countries (with calls to the U.S. at around $.60/min), or one multi-country SIM card (more expensive and with higher rates). But those involve up-front costs (buying the SIM itself), switching SIM cards, buying extra minutes in stores as needed, and having a European phone number during our trip (although it would be kinda cool to say I have an Estonian phone number).

    So, anybody have any advice? The last time I was in Europe was 10 years ago, so I haven't had to pay much attention to these things until recently.
  2. #2  
    You can buy a prepaid SIM card. But to do this in Italy, you need an ID number (that you can apply for online). I can't remember what it's called, but you should be able to google it, it's sort of a tax ID number, I think. I think you can just buy a prepaid SIM card in France, though. There have been discussions about this topic here and at mytreo.net over the past two or three years. I think you can also buy cheap international calling time using a local access number almost anywhere - but some countries may not allow it as their PTT is a monopoly.
    Shneor
    Pre 3 on T-Mobile, 32gb Touchpad
  3. #3  
    The prepaid sim cards are probably a better idea. If need be id get the Cingular service too but I would not use it unless I had no choice. In Switzerland all calls to me are free, when my account runs out I still receive calls indefinitely & Internet access also comes with just about every service. Catch is, it’s expensive as hell when you use it so you better make sure your favorite sites are already in your favorites. I can eat thru 40chf in about a half an hour using Coope Mobile witch is a service provided by Orange. T-mobile seems to be the biggest player from the US over here so I would look to see what they offer first. when I’m in Germany it’s their network that handles my calls however since I don’t have a plan with them It’s got insane rates. “But hey, at least I’m still connected”. Have you considered the Wifi sled? I think you will save a bit with it on top of its price as it will allow you to send emails. Aside from that GPS is a must as is language translation software. If you equip that Treo correctly it will become an invaluable tool and you will quickly realize it was made for a traveler. think of this as the ultimate treo adventure. “Bit of advice” is to turn off “Enable local network time if available”. It’s always screwing up the time by reverting back to the US timezone and can make you miss an appointment if you need to count on the Treo to be a clock or alarm.

    Optimal internet settings for Europe since every bit counts.

    Put your favorite sites in your favorites

    Make http://www.google.com/xhtml?hl=en your browsers homepage

    Go here to configure your network for the best speed http://www.opendns.com/what/

    Consider using the Xiino Web browser http://www.mobirus.com/eng/products/Xiino/index_html
    Or Opera mini http://www.operamini.com/download/?d...=palm_treo_650

    Have fun In Europe but try not to get arrested. good luck.
    Last edited by Bronxboy; 01/15/2007 at 08:11 PM.
  4. #4  
    http://prepaidgsm.net

    In France, you'll probably find it cost-effective to use your roaming.

    In Italy, take a look at the Wind or Tre plans. You'll find instructions on generating a "codice fiscale" in the forums.
  5.    #5  
    Thanks for the links...will check them out more.
  6. #6  
    I guess it depends on how many minutes you think you'll use while over there. I would never change my plan again to save 30 cents a minute. I did it once when going to Mexico since Verizon will let you change plans at anytime, but when changing back I had such a hassle that it wasn't worth it and it took me an hour on the phone with them once I got there because they didn't activate it right so I couldn't dial out.

    The sim cards are okay, but I look at them like gift cards. You probably will leave with minutes on the card that you paid for but didn't use, bringing the price per minute up unless you go back often. Sounds like you don't. These are just my opinions.
  7. #7  
    I came back with a $600 cingular bill, and that was in addition to my prepaid cards. try to use Cingular only in ermergencies... And get every international plan they have..

    I was in europe for 2 months.. the cheapes was Orange Cards, but prepaid cards are country specific so you have to be careful not to buy too much at one time. I bought at Tobac shops.

    Daata worked but ticked off minutes some how, never figured the formula.
  8.    #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by RickMG View Post
    I guess it depends on how many minutes you think you'll use while over there. I would never change my plan again to save 30 cents a minute. I did it once when going to Mexico since Verizon will let you change plans at anytime, but when changing back I had such a hassle that it wasn't worth it and it took me an hour on the phone with them once I got there because they didn't activate it right so I couldn't dial out.

    The sim cards are okay, but I look at them like gift cards. You probably will leave with minutes on the card that you paid for but didn't use, bringing the price per minute up unless you go back often. Sounds like you don't. These are just my opinions.
    And, of course, I'll need buy the SIM card itself. Even with the starter time, that's still $30-$40 for the card (times two for the two countries I'll be in). So even if I end up spending $100 on calls, it's probably still cheaper to stick with the Cingular plan (don't really plan on using data while I'm away).

    And in the grand scheme of the trip, the cell phone bill isn't going to be a big chunk of it
  9. drensin's Avatar
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    #9  
    The Cingular plan can be added and used for as short as a month .. maybe even less if they pro-rate. Just add it before you go, and cancel just after you return.

    My biggest bills are always data usage, even just checking email. But I don't think you can get a short term data usage plan.

    You might look into VOIP services over your Treo, but again, if I remember correctly, that's a data charge, and expensive.
  10. #10  
    The forums at Flyertalk.com will be your best source of info, I think. That said, my own travels have led me to adopt a habit of picking up a local sim wherever I land, and then using a calling card (almost always the cheapest option) to support the calls back to the US. This has been the best option for me in Ireland, the UK, India, and Hong Kong. Hasn't worked out so well in China(shanghai), South Africa (wouldn't sell, would only rent a SIM- not bad prices, though), or Japan (which is just hopeless, for me).

    As noted, intra-EU roaming fees can be a *****, so read the fine print carefully.
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by ahan View Post
    And, of course, I'll need buy the SIM card itself. Even with the starter time, that's still $30-$40 for the card (times two for the two countries I'll be in). So even if I end up spending $100 on calls, it's probably still cheaper to stick with the Cingular plan (don't really plan on using data while I'm away).
    I recently looked at this same situation. Buying a card in both France and Italy doesn't make much sense, but buying an Italian SIM and using it in both countries does. (I factored in data usage as well.) So if you're starting your trip in Italy, consider that.
  12.    #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by johnacraft View Post
    I recently looked at this same situation. Buying a card in both France and Italy doesn't make much sense, but buying an Italian SIM and using it in both countries does. (I factored in data usage as well.) So if you're starting your trip in Italy, consider that.
    We are starting in Italy, so I'll look more into that. Is it cheaper to get a SIM in advance or wait until we get there?
  13. #13  
    I'd think that $30-40 for a SIM would be quite high. $20 max would be my guess, unless there's something particularly unique about cell providers in France. Every time I've looked into getting SIMs ahead of a trip, it's turned out to be far more expensive/trouble than just picking one up at the airport when I got to my destination.
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by ahan View Post
    We are starting in Italy, so I'll look more into that. Is it cheaper to get a SIM in advance or wait until we get there?
    Generally, when you get there (about 5 Euro for the card and activation itself).
  15. #15  
    Hah. I just got back from Thailand, where I bought a SIM for 100 baht - less than US$3. And it included about 10 minutes of airtime.

    Treo 650 - Cingular GSM
    Software:Treo650-1.20-ENA
    Firmware:01.71
  16.    #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by johnacraft View Post
    Generally, when you get there (about 5 Euro for the card and activation itself).
    Sounds like a good way to go...

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